(June 13, 2014) -- All-American Richard Garrett Jr. finished fourth in the shot put and fellow All-American Keyunta Hayes advanced to the 400-meter hurdles final to lead the UTSA men's track and field team Wednesday in Eugene, Ore., during the opening day of competition at the NCAA Championships at historic Hayward Field.
Garrett Jr., who earned the third All-America certificate of his decorated career, registered his fifth school record of his final season as a Roadrunner on his fifth attempt of the night. The senior from Garland launched a measurement of 66-1 (20.14m), and that added three-and-a-quarter inches to his winning put at last month's Conference USA Championships. He qualified for the nine-man final with a semifinal heave of 64-2 ½ (19.57m), which came on his opening toss of the competition, and that was the fifth-best mark of the round.
Garrett Jr., who just missed a bronze medal by three-quarters of an inch, finished behind Texas' Ryan Crouser (69-3 ½/21.12m), Cornell's Stephen Mozia (67-1 ½/20.46m) and Georgia's Nick Vena (66-1 ¾/20.16m). His previous best national finish was 11th two years ago in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Although I had my sights set on winning the first national championship in school history, I can't complain about setting a PR in my final collegiate meet," Garrett Jr. said. "I gave it everything I had and that's all you can ask for. There is no shame in finishing fourth and this was a great way to end my career. I want to thank Coach (Aaron) Fox and Coach (Chris) Adams for taking a chance on me five years ago and helping develop me into the person I am today."
Meanwhile, Hayes earned an automatic spot in his specialty event after placing second in third semifinal heat, as he crossed the finish line in 50.68.
"Tonight wasn't easy, but my goal was to advance to Friday and that's what I was able to do," the Tyler native said. "Tomorrow will be an important day in terms of getting rest and formulating my game plan for the final. I've been working toward this moment for two years now, and I'm looking forward to representing UTSA to the best of my abilities. Hopefully, that means bringing a national championship back home with me."
Kansas' Michael Stigler clocked the evening's fastest time of 49.34 and he and Hayes will be joined by Nebraska's Miles Ukaoma (49.70), Colorado State's Trevor Brown (49.89), North Carolina's Rilwan Alowonle (50.40), LSU's Quincy Downing (50.55), Baylor's Timothy Holmes (50.56) and Stephen F. Austin's Josh Taylor (50.58) in Friday's final, which is scheduled for 6:33 p.m. (CT). It will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Hayes, who finished fourth two years ago, will be in search of the first national title in UTSA athletics history.
Andrew Akens, the Roadrunners' other competitor of the night, finished with a measurement of 55-11 (17.04m) in the shot, but he was unable to advance to the final. However, the junior from Mesquite, who was making his first-ever appearance at the national meet, became the 12th All-American in program annals by earning honorable mention accolades by virtue of his 23rd-place performance.
"I'm proud of the job all three guys did today," head coach Aaron Fox said. "Richard's performance was a fitting end to an outstanding career, and I'm looking forward to Keyunta finishing his season strong in Friday's final. Those two sacrificed a year for the program last season and performing well at the national meet is a great reward for them."
Read more and view a photo gallery at the UTSA Athletics website.
This story was republished courtesy of UTSA Athletics.
Successful first-year students at UTSA are those who learn how to utilize resources, recognize and resolve problems, and prepare themselves to take advantage of their time on campus. The Student Success Series promotes this achievement by offering workshops on the common concerns and questions first-year students have during their transition to university life.
University Center Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The Fraternity & Sorority Councils New Member Information Session gives students information about the diverse organizations, their membership requirements, the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority, as well as discussing important information about hazing guidelines and the responsibilities of joining these types of organizations.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Come be a part of your official Class of 2021 picture! The entire freshmen class gather at the Recreation Field Complex which some may know as the UTSA Football Practice Field behind the Softball Complex and Alvarez Hall.
Recreation Field Complex, Main Campus
Come show your Roadrunner Spirit by joining our very own Rowdy, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band (SOSA), your fellow students, faculty and staff as we light the Monument at our Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight to mark the start of a new academic year.
John Peace Blvd. entrance, Main Campus
Join President Eighmy for this celebration to kick off the new school year. The event will feature live musical performances and a free BBQ dinner.
Convocation Center Lawn, Main Campus
Join fellow Roadrunners on the Downtown Campus for this free BBQ dinner.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
New and returning graduate students are encouraged to stop by before going to class to learn more about what UTSA has to offer, participate in fun activities, listen to music, connect with peers and enjoy refreshments.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Students are invited to attend the Fraternity|Sorority Life Informational Sessions and Mix & Mingle. This is an opportunity for students to meet-and-greet members of the Fraternity/Sorority Life community, and get together with your new Roadrunner friends.
UC Travis and Harris Rooms (HUC 2.202 and HUC 2.212) then UC Lawn, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.